WEEK 42, Day 2, Tuesday, 18 October 2022


Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Tuesday, 18 October 2022:

2 Samuel 22:21-24 — The Lord dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his rules were before me, and from his statutes I did not turn aside. I was blameless before him, and I kept myself from guilt.

We are saved by grace and rewarded through obedience. God expects our obedience, holds us accountable for obedience, and blesses our obedience. Jesus commissioned us to go into the world and make disciples, “teaching them to obey ALL that [He] has commanded.” All means all. Partial obedience is disobedience. When we lose sight of the holiness of God, and when we are no longer amazed by grace, we don’t take obedience very seriously.

2 Samuel 22:26 — With the merciful you show yourself merciful; with the blameless man you show yourself blameless.

God treats you the way you treat others. Compare this with The Lord’s Prayer (or disciple’s prayer) – “…forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”

2 Samuel 22:28 — You save a humble people, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them down.

The world views humility as weakness, but the truly humble have the power of God on their side. Jesus said, “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:4)

2 Samuel 22:30-51 — Strength, security, and success are in the LORD’s hands. Salvation comes only from God.

Here is a short video overview of 2 Peter 1: https://youtu.be/wWLv_ITyKYc

2 Peter 1:1 – Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ….

All who are saved through Christ have equal righteousness and equal access to the power of the Holy Spirit.

2 Peter 1:2 – May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

The more we truly know Jesus, the more we grow in grace and peace.

2 Peter 1:3-9 – His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness…. so that… you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.

“As a Christian, you have everything you need to live a holy and abundant life (2 Pet. 1:3-11). Your intelligence, your education, or your family background do not determine the holiness of your life. Everything you need to live a victorious, joyful, and abundant life is found in the Holy Spirit who resides within you. (Gal. 5:22-23)

According to Peter, each Christian, by faith, has access to these qualities: goodness, knowledge of God, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. It would be of no use to inherit a fortune if you did not know it was yours. Likewise, it is of no benefit to inherit everything necessary to become like Christ if you do not claim it.

If we continue to lack self-control when God has made it available, we rob ourselves and those around us. If God is willing to instill brotherly kindness into our behavior, but we never display it, people, including you, will suffer needlessly as a result.

The key to all that God has made available to us is our faith. We must believe that God wants to build these qualities into our lives. In the Gospels, Jesus related to people according to their faith. (Matt. 8:13; 9:29; 15:28) He rewarded genuine faith by granting salvation and healing. If He met unbelief, He did not reward it. (Mark 6:5-6) [However, He did bless, strengthen, and encourage those who had faith and yet humbly acknowledge the lack of faith and turned to Him for more – “Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, ‘I believe; help my unbelief!’” (Mark 9:24)]

Review the qualities that Peter said God wants to instill in you. If you lack any of these qualities, ask God to work them into your character, so that you will be more like Christ.” (Henry T. Blackaby)

We don’t obey to be saved. We obey because we have been saved and are being saved.

2 Peter 1:12-15 – Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.

We are called to be disciples and to make disciples, learning and teaching others to observe all that Jesus commanded. (Matthew 28:18-20) Some discipling is done by instructors – those sages on stages who teach Biblical truths to various audiences. Some discipling is done by mentors, wise, trusted advisors who offer valuable counsel from their knowledge and experience; but perhaps the most valuable discipling comes from spiritual coaches, those examples of faith who are willing to walk alongside you and guide you personally through practical spiritual application, those who are fully invested in you and are committed to being there, thick or thin.

Like professional athletes, we all need coaches who will hold us accountable but who will also feel a sense of responsibility for our success as do professional athletic coaches who get paid to produce winners. Interestingly, the better athletes become, the more and better coaching they need and receive; but as most Christians mature, they seem to get less coaching, which often produces tragic results. If you think you need less coaching in your spiritual walk, you are in danger of slipping.

“I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder….” Coaches don’t usually tell you what you don’t know; rather, they remind you of what you already know and hold you to it, spurring you on to continually exceed your current capabilities. Peter was committed to always reminding his fellow believers of the qualities they were to maintain so they would never forget and so they would continue to ‘win’ when he was no longer there to coach them.

Also, coaches make you run laps you don’t want to run so you can win the game you want to win. There is no growth in the comfort zone, and there is no comfort in the growth zone. A good coach will challenge you to get committed, to step out in faith, to strive, to endure, to persevere and to do it with joy.

  • 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 — Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

Coaches can’t coach everyone. You can instruct many. You can mentor fewer, but you can coach even fewer. Coaching is personal and a big investment of time, energy and effort. Jesus had his twelve, but he particularly invested in three.

Who is coaching you spiritually, and who are you coaching? Who is on the playing field with you daily in mutually invested relationships? If you aren’t in good spiritual coaching relationships, pray that God will increase your commitment and place the right people in your life.

  • Deuteronomy 6:6-9 — And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

2 Peter 1:16 – For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

Witnesses testify to what they have personally seen or experienced, not what they have heard from others. Your witness to others is a testimony to what Jesus has done in your life and what you have personally grown to know about Him. If you have a hard time sharing your testimony, it may be that your real experience with Jesus is very limited. Don’t just read about Jesus and then try to convince people of what you have read – your heart won’t be in that. Instead, walk with Jesus in faith, watch Him work miraculously in your life, and grow closer and closer to Him in genuine relationship. If you truly experience the power of Jesus and the truth of His word in your life, you won’t have any trouble bearing witness to it.

2 Peter 1:19-21 – And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

All Scripture is the word of God. Obeying God’s word day by day does more than just change your circumstances as the natural outcome of your better choices, it changes your heart as you grow the appreciate and love God and others. Through God’s word, fulfill our purpose of growing in Christlike character (Romans 8:28-29)

2 Peter 1:21 – For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Everybody has an opinion, and many seek to use Biblical proof texts to validate their opinion. The Bible has been used to justify all sorts of thoughts and deeds; it has been used as a self-help book; a business book, and for all sorts of ambitious ends. However, true prophecy comes from the Holy Spirit and draws from God’s word to communicate what God would say on a current situation or matter, always pointing to Jesus; God’s prophet will not add, take away, or conflict with God’s written word but will place it in current context in ways that could not have discerned through mere intellect. God’s message will always be different than what we would have expected because His thoughts are farther from ours than the Heavens are from the earth. Too often we want to search God’s word to figure our how the change the world and our circumstances, when God would have the word change us. Isaiah 58 is very instructive here. Read it to see what God desires from our seeking of Him.

“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 18 October 2022: Commit to coaching and being coached today.

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